Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Trust Experiment

The nice researchers at the Duke Canine Cognition Center requested my help with another one of their experiments. Barbara says it is just because my name came up in a random sampling of their data base but I know that they really like me there and that they think I am very smart.

This experiment was to see if I would eat a treat near some one I didn't know or would prefer to eat one near some one that had been nice to me. Now I am an equal opportunity treat eater but I was very happy to participate.

The first part was wonderful. A nice Duke student named Isabella sat on the floor and petted me for 23 whole minutes!! She scratched my ears and then gave me a butt rub.

I thought this was so nice that I let her rub my belly too. She talked very sweetly to me. You can see how much I enjoyed all the petting.

She even let me rest my head on her leg! You should all try to get in this experiment if you can. 23 minutes of non-stop petting is wonderful.

After the petting marathon the students moved some screens around the room. I was very curious especially when some little trays came out from under the curtains and Mary put treats on the trays. I was tested to make sure I could take the treats off of the trays, which of course I could. Some dogs are afraid of the trays but not me.

Then Mary put more treats on the trays and a some one came out from one side of the curtain and sat near the tray. Sometimes it was Isabella and sometimes it was a student I didn't know.

When Mary said ok, I was allowed to race to one of the treats and they marked down which side that I went to. We did this 16 times so that meant I got 16 treats!

Camilla, Isabella and Mary were very nice to me and even gave me a Duke diploma!

I am always happy to advance scientific knowledge about dogs and get lots of treats at the same time.


Hero said...

That's so neat that you get to participate in these studies, Niamh! Tagpi would love this particular experiment. To him, everyone is a friend and his life revolves around food! Even after all that petting I still wouldn't take the treats. I won't even take food from hoomans I've known for the past three years. I trust friendly hoomans with ear scratches and belly rubs, but my tummy and taste buds are strictly for family.

Maggie and Mitch said...

23 minutes of non-stop petting sounds wonderful to us, Niamh!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Fred said...

You are so scientific!

Amber-Mae said...

Sounds like a very interesting study! Bet you enjoyed it very much. I wouldn't like to be petted. I am not the type of dog who likes being "too close" to someone. Be it my own hoomies or someone else. But I am definitely the type who would eat treats out of anything even from strangers!

Deefor said...

Do they need any more doggies for that experiment? I think I could be petted forever and get treats for it. You are a very good scientist.


Cassy said...

Beautiful ladies and a dog. Nice shots!

Cassy from Electric Guitar Online Lessons